Southwest Florida : Home Tour : Waterfront Living



Boating enthusiasts Dennis and Cindy Reilley originally chose their multi-level Mediterranean style home in Bonita Bay as the perfect complement to their coastal lifestyle. The four-bedroom, four-and-one-half bath home in the Marina Isles neighborhood offers the convenience of stepping out their back door and onto their boat for a quick west coast excursion into the warm azure waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The home site and floor plan made the most of the magnificent views of the marina fringed with natural vegetation. The Reilleys hired Collins & DuPont to design the home in keeping with the popular Mediterranean look of the day – ornate dark wood furnishings; plaster-like faux finishes on every wall; heavy, layered window coverings.

Seven years later the Reilleys began looking for a larger home, but they were enamored with their location and loved being able to “lock up and go” when the opportunity arose to take to the water. They decided to renovate rather than relocate and once again called upon Collins & DuPont.

“The Reilleys wanted their new interiors to match their lifestyle – elegant and easy,” explains Sherri DuPont. “We came back in to ‘de-Med’ this home,” she chuckles. She coined the phrase to describe the process of transforming the dark, heavy Mediterranean-style interiors typical of homes built in the early 2000s into modern spaces.

It wasn’t the first time the award-winning design firm has been called in to “de-Med” a home. They are often asked to “lighten” a home, to create a look that is not “as serious,” sometimes re-planning the space to better suit the client’s lifestyle.

The work on the Reilleys’ home began in the kitchen. The old stone floors of small-squared Saturnia marble were replaced with 24” x 24” limestone. The arches and wooden headers were removed and the textured faux finish was skim-coated. “It’s messy,” acknowledges DuPont. The walls throughout the home received the same skim-coat treatment and then were painted a natural linen color, accented by glossy white trim.

“We gutted the kitchen, squaring off the old boomerang style counter,” says DuPont. What was originally an awkward octagonal space became a simple, functional geometric one. The built-in bookcase was a niche in the hallway that DuPont turned around to open to the kitchen and filled with Murano glass accessories in vibrant shades of orange, her “happy color.”

The black lacquered Century bar stools are covered in a warm gray fabric with sheen to it, complementing the metallic footrest and the satin nickel finishes on the kitchen fixtures. Custom-built raised front walnut cabinets and a built-in desk add functionality and classic style to the kitchen.

To light the renovated kitchen space, Lynne Stambouly, Senior Lighting Designer from the Specialty Lighting Division of Lighting First, and a frequent Collins & DuPont collaborator, removed the original 6” recessed can lights and replaced them with more architecturally minimal 4” ones. Under-cabinet lighting was installed to illuminate the granite-topped workspace and mosaic glass tile backsplash. Hudson Valley pendant lamps hang alongside a sophisticated modular Hudson Valley chandelier, casting a glow on the granite waterfall edge island. However, it is the lighted glass front cabinets that make a dramatic impact. “They add enormous depth at night,” describes Stambouly.

The living room was reoriented to keep the view front and center. The French doors are flanked by classic tie-striped draperies. “We didn’t want to look at the back of a sectional; we wanted to look through the space to the marina beyond. The result is more inviting,” explains DuPont.

Barely recognizable among the new furnishings is the Reilleys’ original coffee table. By refinishing the piece using a lighter shade for the top, the table’s Asian influence is emphasized. Repurposing a piece is one of DuPont’s favorite things to do. “If a piece has good bones, good lines and sentimental value, a totally different look can be achieved.”

The configuration of the dining room table was changed, and the border on the floor removed. A Marge Carson table with platinum burnished hammered finish metal edge and a Fine Art® chandelier take center stage in the newly renovated dining room, surrounded by Baker chairs covered in a shimmering Zimmer & Rohde fabric. The coffer in the dining room ceiling, originally faux finished with a tracery pattern around the edge, was painted out. The heavy draperies were removed and the shutters repainted.

A 45” diameter carved wood Alinea mirror with a metallic silver finish washed with platinum hangs above a Caracole sideboard with drawers fronted in silver leaf.

Serene white Phalaenopsis orchids in a silver bowl grace the circular table. An arrangement of orange Vanda orchids and bamboo in water- look resin sits atop the sideboard. Silks were used throughout the home. “We did something in every room, using color in strategic spots,” says Saundra Riccardelli of Sweetgrass Designs. “Sherri knows where she wants color,” Riccardelli continues, “So it is easy to work together.”

Riccardelli strives to create silk arrangements that look as natural as possible, not orchestrated. Tiny succulents in white cubes accent the TV room where DuPont used lots of creams and bold accent fabrics. Black silk sheaths the drum shade on the chandelier whose gold lining provides a warm glow to the room. “This is a guilty pleasure, almost like jewelry for the room,” DuPont says.

In the master suite DuPont used a grey beige on the walls, slightly darker than the linen color used elsewhere in the home, “because in an evening room you want more Zen.” The ceiling molding was already in place but had been painted in three different colors and two textures. “We smoothed it out and painted it subtle shades of the linen color,” says DuPont.

The mirrored side table, mirror-finished night stands and mercury glass lamps add a spark of silver to the space, while the antique brass finish on the chandelier and the metal frame surrounding the curved wall mirror present a quiet strength with their matte finishes. Riccardelli added a vase of orange silk lilies for a pop of color.

The powder bath originally contained a freestanding Bombe front French look vanity with a decorative bowl. DuPont commissioned new cabinetry with contemporary lines and placed a silver travertine bowl atop the new vanity. Tall bronze-colored Brizo fixtures, slender silk Glorioso lilies and curvaceous pendant lights accentuate the height of the room. The mirror is framed in leather with a pewter tracery appliqué.

The renovation continued outdoors, with all new furniture for the deck and the removal of a multitude of plants, most of which had been housed in Mediterranean style pots. Thinning out the greenery and simplifying the area opened up a new focus on the previously obscured vanishing edge pool.

The home’s exterior was repainted a shade of taupe that complements the driveway pavers and barrel tile roof, toning down the Mediterranean feel and exuding a classic elegance, making the renovation from Mediterranean to modern complete.

Written by Ginny Cooper

Photography by Phillip Ennis Photography


Collins & DuPont Design Group
8911 Brighton Lane
Bonita Springs, FL 34135


Lighting First
Specialty Lighting Division
28801 S. Tamiami Trail
Bonita Springs, FL 34134


Sweetgrass Designs
1719 Trade Center Way #8
Naples, FL 34109

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Luxury Homes | Interior Design | Home Furnishings

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